The stand-off between French police and Al-Qaeda educated terrorist Mohamed Merah has finally ended, Thursday, after officers made their move to close in on the man’s apartment, and the murderer burst forth, firing bullets at “an incredible rate,” before leaping out the window of his first-floor window, where he would die in mid-air from a bullet wound to the head before crashing to the ground.
Merah, 24, a French citizen of Algerian decent, began his jihad when he filmed himself killing a paratrooper on March 11, saying “You kill my brothers, now I’m killing you,” before shooting the man dead; it continued on March 15 when he killed two other paratroopers, and drove off on his scooter screaming, “Allahu Ackbar!” (God is Great); he furthered his crimes by visiting Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse where he murdered Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his toddler sons, Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 3, and Myriam Monsenego, 8. At the funeral, Myriam’s eldest brother, Avashia wailed and called on God to strengthen his parents in their grief.
Palestinian Prime Minster Salam Fayyad decried the killings at the Jewish school, which Merah said was to pay for the deaths of Palestinian children.
“It’s time for criminals to stop using the Palestinian cause to justify their terrorist actions,” said a statement written by Fayyad. “The children of Palestine want nothing but dignified lives from themselves and for all the children.”
Police authorities regret they had to kill Merah, but felt they had no choice. They had planned to take him alive, saying, “The main concern is to arrest him, and to arrest him in conditions by which we can present him to judicial officials.”
Merah has long been under surveillance for holding such extreme views, said an Interior Ministry official. Merah also has an extended record of 15 convictions of juvenile delinquency. He claims to have visited Waziristan, Pakistan, to be trained by Al-Qaeda to prepare for this assault. Merah’s justification was that he wished to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children, to protest French involvement in Afghanistan, and to criticize the government’s ban on Islamic veils.
“He has no regrets, except not having more time to kill more people and he boasts that he has brought France to its knees,” said Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins. 300 gunshots later, it was Merah who was brought down, if not the extreme views he espoused. Terrorism has quickly become a leading issue in France’s current presidential campaign.